Effective Spend Case Study:
SEO & Digital PR Teams Collaborate to Build Online Brand Authority

BACKGROUND:
Swyft Filings is a Houston-based company that helps entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of business filings, from incorporation documents to registered agent compliance. 

 

Owned by an experienced lawyer, Swyft Filings was born out of the need for an automated business filing process, negating high-priced and uncertain legal fees that are so often associated with starting a business. From its inception, the Swyft Filings incorporation and filing process was designed to be simple, comprehensive, and fast. 

 

After years of supporting thousands of business owners, Swyft Filings enlisted Effective Spend to increase their online brand authority in an increasingly crowded landscape.

CHALLENGE

Over the past few years, the online business filings landscape has become increasingly more competitive. Therefore, many of the target keywords that are core for these businesses, such as “LLC filing,” are difficult to rank for in the SERPs. They’re so competitive, in fact, that simply focusing on a single SEO tactic (e.g. robust content) is not enough to set a website apart. For a business in this industry to stake its place online, it must differentiate itself in a sea of similar companies. You can have the best content in the world, but if you’re not seen as a leader in the field, it’s an uphill battle to rank on page 1 for these aggressive search terms.

 

The challenge for Effective Spend was to establish Swyft Filings as a thought leader in a crowded industry, all while anchoring those efforts in SEO best practices that would benefit both their reputation and visibility in the SERPs.

 

SOLUTION
The Effective Spend team knew that for Swyft Filings to stand out in the SERPs, it would be necessary to offer fresh angles and information that no one else in the space was talking about. Going up against well-established companies with global recognition warrants an out-of-the-box approach. The team executed a unique, comprehensive SEO and digital PR strategy: leveraging Swyft Filings’ proprietary business filing data to create robust, pitchable content that would increase both brand awareness and domain authority.

We were impressed by how the team at Effective Spend seamlessly blended traditional PR tactics and SEO best practices to produce and build awareness around our website content.

-Travis Crabtree, Swyft President

STEP 1: CREATING STRONG, UNIQUE CONTENT WITH PROPRIETARY DATA

Effective Spend began by gathering and analyzing proprietary data from Swyft Filings’ database of business filing records. The resulting asset became the State of Swyft Business Insights Report.

 

Given the large volume of Swyft’s proprietary data, the team had to determine the most interesting and relevant trends to share, highlighting information that isn’t easily accessible elsewhere to tell a unique story. They ultimately landed on business incorporation trends segmented by industry and U.S. state. This information provided a birdseye view of which industries and states were seeing the strongest business growth year-over-year.

 

Once the team had analyzed the business formation trends, they then had to create quality content to thoroughly share the information in a tangible way. Ranking the industries by percentage formation growth made the data more digestible. To provide more context for the trends surfaced in Swyft Filings’ data, the team conducted additional research regarding various occurrences, such as natural disasters or an influx of disruptors, impacting industries at a state and national level. For example, the team was able to tie a large volume of new entertainment businesses in the state of Georgia to an increase of movies being filmed there. They knew that going the extra mile to share this context would help to highlight why reporters should care about the data when it came time to pitch. 

 

As the copy was being written for this report, it became clear that it was going to be a very long piece of content. Therefore, the team collaborated with graphic designers to create an aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-follow report that used graphics to break up large blocks of text, as well as jump-to links for easy navigation. Charts summarizing high-level formation data were also designed as a useful asset for the media. 

Effective Spend Logo without line

 

STRATEGY

Just the Line

 

SEO CONTENT

CRAFTED UNIQUE, ROBUST CONTENT RELEVANT TO BOTH SWYFT FILINGS’ INDUSTRY AND CUSTOMERS WHILE TARGETING HIGH-FUNNEL KEYWORDS WITH HIGH SEARCH VOLUME AND LOWER KEYWORD DIFFICULTY.

 

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DIGITAL PR

AMPLIFIED SEO CONTENT BY COMBINING TACTICAL LINK BUILDING AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA OUTREACH. BUILT AWARENESS AND INCREASED DOMAIN AUTHORITY BY BUILDING HIGH-QUALITY BACKLINKS, AS WELL AS GARNERING GUEST AUTHORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES.

STEP 2:  DRIVING BACKLINKS AND ONLINE MENTIONS WITH DIGITAL PUBLIC RELATIONS

This piece of content provided a unique opportunity to cast a wide net for pitching. Effective Spend always wants to ensure that every pitch that goes out is relevant and useful to the reporter or blogger receiving it. To do this, the team created a wide variety of media lists and custom pitches for all of the 18 industries included in the State of Swyft report, and also for nearly every U.S. state. The Effective Spend team wanted to make sure that pitching this content would result in the biggest bang for the client’s buck. 

 

APPROACHING PR THROUGH AN SEO LENS

When building the media lists, the team was highly cognizant of targeting publications that were not only relevant but authoritative. Using Domain Authority (DA) as a marker, the team only targeted online publications and websites that would lend authority to the Swyft Filings site.  

 

While the mere mention of a business on other reputable sites does provide some SEO value, the golden rule of approaching PR with a SERP-minded lens is to gain a dofollow backlink from the other website, directing both referral traffic and authority back to the Swyft Filings site. While many online outlets don’t link back to other websites by default, Effective Spend actively contacts reporters to obtain links when possible. 

 

STEP 3: EXPANDING THE STRATEGY TO SECURE ADDITIONAL COVERAGE

Drawing on the initial success of the first State of Swyft report, Effective Spend created secondary pieces of content that delved further into industries for specific states (for example, taking a closer look at the top-performing industries in Texas). These pieces of content ultimately became the largest drivers of organic traffic to the Swyft Filings blog. 

 

Effective Spend also leveraged the report to gain guest contributor opportunities, which involved writing a shorter, unique piece of content for a website based on findings from the report. The team helped to ghostwrite this content on behalf of the Swyft Filings owner, who would receive the byline for the article. Not only did this help to establish Swyft Filings as an authority in the space, but it also opened the door for future guest articles.

RESULTS
The State of Swyft has become a cornerstone of Swyft’s content strategy and is re-created annually. The report has driven a significant increase to the Swyft website’s domain authority. This ultimately led to ranking for net new keywords related to industry trends, securing Swyft Filings’ place as a leader in the business filings landscape. Ranking for these keywords drove a significant volume of organic traffic to the website, accounting for 30% of organic visitors to the Swyft Filings blog over the course of three years. The report continues to earn new online mentions and backlinks, perpetuating a healthy brand authority for the client.

Graph Up with More Space26%

Increase in
Domain Authority

Press Hit with Other Space23

Earned Press Hits

Guest Articles with Space8

Guest Articles on
Reputable Sites

Third with Space30%

Of Organic Blog Traffic Attributed to the Campaign

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